ONE of the biggest ecumenical events in Liverpool's history was the youth service, part of the Unity Week programme. at the Cathedral last week. About 1,800 young people were present—a sharp contrast to the disappointing attendances at some other Unity Week events in the area.
All the elements of youth life were there, with a folk group and human rights songs welding them into a unity in prayer and purpose which delighted Archbishop Beck. It signified, he said, "our responsibility to seek the unity that would be the witness that Christ willed and prayed for." The service was unique in that it was the first time that non-Catholic young people had led the prayers and Bible readings from the sanctuary. and the first time that a Catholic layman — Peter Maloney, the Merseyside writer — had given an address. Singing was led by the Keyroes, a folk group from Christ's College ofEducation, the Liverpool Youth Band and a choir drawn from seven Catholic and non-Catholic youth organisations. Scripture readings were given by Free Church, Anglican and Catholic young people. Archbishop Beck welcomed the young people and gave the blessing. Prayers were led by Bishop William S. Baker, Assistant Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, the Rev. Reginald Kissack. Chairman of the Liverpool Methodist District, with the Rev. Gordon A. Catherall, President of the Free Church Federal Council also taking part.
BASIS ON TRUTH
The Catholic religion was not a parlour game and principles could not be thrown away just to be nice to people. said the Abbot of Belmont, the Rt. Rev. Aelred Richardson, in his sermon at Hereford Anglican Cathedral on Saturday. "I know I can say this for Methodists, Baptists, Anglicans, for every denomination as well as my own. Unless our unity is based on sincerity and truth, it is not worth the effort." Abbot Richardson said he could not agree with Cardinal Heenan that unity was already achieved. "We have achieved a certain degree of unity— something very precious which we must never lose again. But it is only a beginning. "Apart from active bigots, there are still many others among clergy and layfolk who are hostile. The majority are apathetic. The movement is still largely confined to the clergy, it still does not have strong grass roots. "Even our charity has severe limits. There is some co-operation at national level but at local level it has hardly begun. "At this stage we must lay the ghost of the take-over bid, that for Roman Catholics the unity movement is just a subtle dodge to subject all Churches once more to the tyranny of Rome.
"I know that submission to Rome in the full meaning of the word was sincerely regarded only a few years ago as the only kind of reunion that made any sense. Now, better informed, we know that it cannot work out like that, and we have more respect for other people's consciences. "We know now that to be tolerant of another's sincere beliefs is not treason to one's own. This we can see with regard to our separated brethren, but now we must face a similar problem within our own Church. "We can all see how in charity there can be no limit to our tolerance. One worship in spirit and in truth must be our aim. "We cannot force unity, as some have suggested, simply by flouting all the principles of worship held sacred in different communities. It will not make me better disposed to an Anglican to find that he has surreptitiously taken communion in my church, nor would I encourage any of my flock to do this in an Anglican church.
"So long as our ideas about the Eucharist differ so much, this kind of intercommunion has to be strictly controlled, otherwise it is dishonest.
"But that does not mean that we should stay where we are. This is what theologians are for. We should not despise their work as fine distinctions and hair-splitting. It is their job to find expression in truth for the charity which is growing between us. If we do not face up to the problem of unity in belief and practice, what unity we have will not satisfy us long."
Police in plain clothes ejected more than 50 people from St. Paul's Cathedral on Wednesday last week as extremists jeered and catcalled during the sermon by Cardinal Heenan (reported in the CATHOLIC HERALD last week). Although there were mild interruptions during the early part of the service, the major disturbance did not break out until the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Michael Ramsey, stood at the chancel welcoming Cardinal Heenan.
One man shouted: "You are the representative of the antiChrist" and as he was led away another called: "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I rebuke you."
There were further interruptions as the Cardinal began his sermon. One man hurried down the central nave shouting: "You're a Dar," as the Cardinal said unity would take place in God's time and in God's way.
Another stood in front of Dr. Ramsey and shouted: "And you're a traitor."
Outside the cathedral eggs the tomatoes were thrown at the Rev. Ian Paisley, the Northern Ireland extremist Protestant leader, who had flown to London with a group of his supporters.